A small town in Southern Lithuania
Where the Jewish Community is no more
Lithuanian Holocaust Day 2014
Double click to edit
The cobbled road from Mariampole to Vilkaviskis that our ancestors travelled on
The meeting wth our dear friends, Antanas and his wife Nicolje and Algis and his wife Vida.
The new sign to the site of the Holocaust Memorial
At the Holocaust site. Eli holding a picture of his father by the original Holocaust Memorial.
The Holocaust Memorial today
The Jewish Cemetery today.
Talking in the schools
The flag outside the Municipality - flying at half mast but no black sash - the flag outside the Municipal Tourist Office no black sash and the flag has not been lowered !
Discusions with the Municipality
Yossi Ankorion's Plaque Project
The moving ceremony at the Public Library where the names of the Jewish Holocaust Vicitims were read
In the morning we left Mariampole
and drove to Vilkaviskis - our first
stop was the site of the Holocaust
Memorial in Vilkaviskis. Although
the grounds were obviously well
kept the memorial was still sadly
neglected - we had been told the
renovations were under way but we
found on sign of activity there.
The only addition was a new road
sign directing you to the site. I
was disappointed as I had been
discussing this matter with the
Yossi Ankorion [the man behind
the Vilkaviskis Jewish Plaque
project] had asked me to check
on the state of his plaques [ The
Municipal Building -once the site
of the Hebrew Gymnasium, The
Central Post Office once the site
of the Great Synagogue, and
Regional Hospital once the site of
the Jewish Age Old Home] Whilst
the plaque on the wall of the
Municipality has sadly faded the
other 2 are in excellent condition.
We visited the Jewish Cemetery
which has been kept in excellent
Eli and I gave talks in 2 high
schools , one in Vilkaviskis and
one in the small town of Virbalis.
My conclusion from this year’s
talks that there needs to be more
preparation by the teachers
We were disappointed to see that
in many instances the Lithuanian
flag had neither been lowered or
draped in a black sash as is
required in law - more
disappointing was the fact that at
the Municipal Tourist Information
Office the flag was not lowered
and they were not even aware of
the significance of the special
memorial day. !
I raised this and several other points [ the lack of
recognition to the Jewish people at the Municipality’s
internet site both in English and in Lithuanian. The lack
of progress on refurbishing the Holocaust Memorial,] with
the Deputy Mayor. I complimented the Municipality on the
excellent upkeep of both the grounds of the site of the
Holocaust Memorial and the Jewish Cemetery. Looking
into the future I would like to consider asking for your
assistance in designing and building an entrance to the
Jewish Cemetery and looking into the distant future I feel
it would be appropriate to plan a modest memorial to the
many good folks in Vilkaviskis who saved the lives of
their Jewish neighbors and were recognized as either
Righteous Gentiles by Yad Va’shem or as Life Savers by
the Lithuanian Government - in Vilkaviskis and the
surrounding area there were 56 such good people who
have received no public local recognition for their
Before I close my report I would like to thank Antanas and Algis for the organization of my
meetings in Vilkaviskis and to thank my wonderful guide, William for his help and assistance
throughout my journey this year.
Many of the events mentioned here can be seen at my Jewish Vilkaviskis Facebook page
Any thoughts, suggestions or comments will be gratefully appreciated.
In the early evening we attended a
very moving ceremony in the
Public Library where some of the
names of the Jewish victims were
read. We had the opportunity to
meet the decendants of two
families that saved Jewish people.
It was a very moving experience.